Genre Analysis 3: riddim dubstep

Hello! This blog is going to be discussing the sub genre of dubstep called riddim dubstep.


So firstly, what is riddim? Riddim is a sub genre of dubstep and unlike its predecessor, riddim typically involves a more bouncy, straight and repetitive aesthetic. The name originally comes from the Jamaicans pronunciation of rhythm. The genre itself is generally pretty simple and includes fairly minimal drums and synths. Some artists that are credited with the birth of the genre are BadKlatt, D-Jahsta and Dubloadz. Below are some examples of their tracks.





So how can you actually achieve a riddim aesthetic? It’s actually fairly simple to get something decent made. Lets start with deconstructing some basic features of riddim. Typically the tempo for this genre is anything between 140-150bpm and is almost always in a 4/4 time signature. To achieve a standard riddim drum pattern, all you have to do is place your kick on every beat and have a clap or a snare play on every 2 and 4. This creates the straight bouncy rhythm associated with riddim. Next you can ass some hats and rides, generally you can place rides on every beat along with the kick and can have either closed or open hats on every “and” in between your kick and snare. You can also add a crash at the start of each bar to emphasise the beginning of the bar.


The next element that is a critical part of what makes up riddim is the bass synths. Generally riddim will contain 2 maybe 3 different bass synths and will be used for slight variation but mostly stay in a repetitive relationship. Most riddim bass design is done by using FM synthesis and complex waveforms to create harmonically rich sounds. Below is a video that summarises some basic bass design for riddim using Xfer’s Serum.

By using basic skills from this video, you can change a variety of parameters to achieve unique and interesting sounds to use for riddim.


In terms of structure, riddim follows a very basic typical EDM structure of:


  • Intro
  • Verse 1
  • Build/Pre Chorus
  • Chorus
  • Verse 2
  • Build/Pre Chorus
  • Chorus
  • Verse 3/Outro


That’s basically it! It’s a fairly simple genre but if it is produced well, can be a lot of fun and really interesting to listen to.





[Dubstep] BadKlaat – Riddim Tutorial. (2018). [Video]. Retrieved from

Sadhu – Say What (D-Jahsta Remix). (2018). [Video]. Retrieved from

The Rise of Riddim: What’s this latest bass craze all about?. (2018). Retrieved from

What is Riddim? • MA Music. (2018). Retrieved from

What is this Riddim Everyone Keeps Talking About?. (2018). Retrieved from


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